Memorial Day Travel Safety May 23, 2018
Memorial Day honors the brave men and women that died while serving our country in the military. The holiday has also become the unofficial start of summer, with a long weekend that typically includes barbeques, family gatherings, and parades. As a result, travel over the Memorial Day weekend significantly increases, making this a dangerous weekend for serious and fatal car accidents.
Distracted driving, drowsy driving, drunk driving, and high traffic volume create many dangerous situations for travelers over the long weekend. Following are some precautionary steps drivers can take for the upcoming holiday to stay safe on the roadways.
Safe Driving Tips
- Drivers should ensure that they are well rested and focused before getting behind the wheel. Never drive drowsy.
- Seatbelts save lives. With the increased risks of car accidents over the Memorial Day weekend, it is imperative that all drivers and passengers wear their seatbelt.
- Determining a designated driver before attending a barbeque or party that involves alcohol will prevent drunk driving casualties.
- Accidents caused by distracted and fatigued drivers are two of the most common causes of car accidents. Cell phones, onboard infotainment systems, and even eating can all require the driver to take their eyes off the road. Even when a driver’s attention is diverted for as little as four seconds, the risk of becoming involved in a collision increases dramatically. Drowsy drivers can also lose focus and risk falling asleep behind the wheel, which often results in deadly car accidents.
- Drivers should make sure they leave enough time to arrive at their destination, so they don’t feel the need to exceed the speed limit.
- Following a vehicle too closely from behind can also result in serious rear-end collisions. Drivers are advised to allow one car length between the car in front of them for every 10 miles per hour they are traveling.
- Drivers should make frequent stops along the way when they are traveling. Stretching legs, using the restroom, and drinking plenty of water helps to ensure alertness.
- Be sure to check all fluids, tire pressure, headlights, brake lights, wipers, and turn signals before hitting the road. When cars break down on major highways, there is an increased risk of being hit by another car when you are pulled off on the side of the road. If you do break down, make sure you coast to the safest possible shoulder and pull off as far from the roadway as possible.
- Checking the weather predictions for areas you are going to travel through can help you schedule your drive around severe storms.
- Traffic reports can help you steer clear of areas of congestion or work zones, making it easier for you to reach your destination on time.
Maintaining safety while you travel ensures that you will not only enjoy this holiday weekend, but many more to come.
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